Rowan Atkinson and the cast of legendary comedy series Blackadder are back for this one-off documentary special to mark 25 years since the original BBC transmission in 1983. Featuring ... See full summary »
It is 1917, and lunatic General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett is leading the British troops at the front lines against the Germans, while everyone waits for Field Marshall Haig's big push. There are various emotions throughout the camp about it. For Captain Kevin Darling, Melchett's bull-dog-like right-hand man, it makes no difference, as it appears he will be safe and sound with the general when the big push occurs. For Lieutenant George Colhurst Saint Barleigh, he is overly excited at thrashing the Germans. For Private S. (probably for Sod-Off) Baldrick, it's a terrifying experience he is not looking forward to. For Captain Edmund Blackadder, however, it's something he's too cowardly too face. Self-centered, arrogant, and sarcastic, Blackadder is always constantly searching for a way out of this silly war, and will try various, often crazy, variations on escape, all of which will take a turn he never expected. Sharing a dugout with George and Baldrick, his main obstacle for ... Written by
According to John Lloyd, the popularity of the series within the armed forces meant that one point, half of all regimental goats had the name 'Baldrick'. Further evidence of the show's popularity can be seen from records of the first Gulf War, during which the British lines in Iraq were named after characters from the series. See more »
Throughout the series, Blackadder and George, both front-line officers in the trenches, are show with their rank insignia displayed on their cuffs, whereas Melchett and Darling, staff officers, are shown with their rank insignia on their shoulders. In reality, this would have been reversed: Cuff insignia was the standard, but front-line officers were allowed to wear theirs on their shoulders to make them less conspicuous to snipers. Shoulder insignia eventually became an army-wide personal option in 1917, and made permanent in 1920 when the cuff insignia was abolished completely. See more »
In the opening credits, Captains Blackadder and George lead a battalion in parade past General Melchett and Captain Darling (with Private Baldrick in the marching band playing a triangle). The closing credits are a grainy 1920s newsreel of the same battalion heading into battle, with Melchett and Darling walking casually but quickly in the other direction... See more »
I firmly believe that the Blackadder series simply improved over time, and as such I really don't have much to say except that this is a fabulously crafted piece of comedy.
Ben Elton and Richard Curtis are two extremely talented writers - who else could sculpt the line, "We're in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun."??
The return of the usual actors - Rowan Atkinson (who else?!), Tim McInnerny, Hugh Laurie, Tony Robinson and Stephen Fry - provides for excellent chemistry between the cast members and also displayed yet another way in which each can display their acting talents, yet at the same time drop hints as to their previous roles. Let's face it, Blackadder will always be scheming, and Baldrick will keep passing on those stupidity genes.
I have two favourite aspects: firstly, the relationship between Capt. Darling and Blackadder and their insidious but uncontrollable hatred of one another. Secondly, the ending. I won't spoil it, but if you haven't seen the series, don't expect the norm at all. A very good way to end, but also somehow reflective.
If you're going to watch any Blackadder series, watch this one!
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